Is there such a thing as job stability?

No.

Any job can be lost at any time.

I have been sitting in front of my computer for two hours trying to figure out a way to explain why even though there is no such thing as job stability, I would prefer my own daughter find a career path, and follow it until her desire for that path no longer exists. For her to find employment with a company, or build her own company based on an actual occupation.

But I feel there is a generational difference that can’t be simply put down in words.

I read an Buzzfeed article yesterday, and it stated outdated advice that boomers have told millennials. One such lie was that working hard will get you somewhere in life.

I’m sorry, call me old, call me old fashioned, call me out of touch.

I still believe that hard work gets you somewhere.

I believe in learning responsibility, showing up on time, doing what you are supposed to do, working towards a goal, giving 100% to whatever it is you’re doing, whether it’s an accountant, librarian, doctor or influencer.

I firmly believe that hard work pays off in the end.

But some of the youth of today just do not believe this.

Are they misguided? Clueless? Stupid? Immature? Or are the way smarter than the rest of us?

Maybe they are, and maybe they aren’t.

When did it become that working towards a goal was silly?

Is it because sometimes you can work your tail off, and still fail? And then you wonder why bother working, if you’re going to fail anyway?

Resilience. You know I’m a big believer in getting kids to push themselves, allowing them to fail, and then helping them get back up and start over again.

So maybe job stability doesn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean that we just give up- jobs may not be stable, but internally, we must learn to be.

Is the flux of influencers and gig workers just a way of kids not really trying to set a goal, so therefore they won’t fail?

And while I’m talking about hard work….thank you to those who have served in the armed forces!

63 thoughts on “Stability?

  1. I agree with you! Opportunities will change with time, desire, and availability but they are out there for hard workers. The way we get them has changed. When I wanted a job in the garment industry with the buyers, I knocked on doors until someone hired me. Now you have to apply online and no one is really interested in being a buyer for a store. Fads change and passions change but hard workers are in style.

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  2. I do think loyalty to the employer and the employee has changed with both parties. In our time, it was not unusual for someone to stay with a company for a very long time. Loyalty seems to be overrated now and you can easily leave or be let go.

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  3. I agree that hard work is key. Also taking initiative rather than waiting to be told to do something. The other thing that we need to do more of is tooting our own horn. I keep a running list of accomplishments both small and large. This helps during reviews or any time the boss asks “what have you done?” I don’t consider it bragging, just tracking.

    One thing Millennials have realized and BBoomers/ GenX were slow to understand is that with so many years working (30+), it is unrealistic to be with the same company or even the same career the whole time. They also realize that the only person who has your best interests at heart is you – not your boss or coworker. Great post!

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    1. I think you have to learn to make upward moves though. My husbands cousin has been working for about twelve years now, and she switches jobs a lot, but always laterally. She’s not educating herself and adding layers of responsibility so even though she’s moved, she’s no better off financially or otherwise

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  4. I’ve had conversations like this with my kids. They were brought up with my “outdated” work ethic and belief system: education-job-save-plan for old age. One believed she found her path, but has become disillusioned and now wonders what her real life goal is. Another stays within the same industry but has a clear ease at switching things up often within that industry. The last found her passion, loves her work and will likely retire from this career without ever doing anything else. In all three cases, they are still focused in varied levels, to long-term financial stability.
    When the disillusioned daughter started on her latest round of questioning what her purpose and goals are, I began wondering about my own working past, my own passions and goals. I have always taken the safe route, yet I still feel regret that I didn’t jump at an opportunity to follow what I believe was my true career. I took a step back and began to discuss with daughter that perhaps this was her opportunity, that perhaps it was time to stop playing it safe and discover options. She cannot bring herself to take that leap and while there are many factors influencing her decision I wonder if I may have been too good at my role in pushing the safe work ethic…

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    1. You know, it’s a hard road. We have to make sure our kids understand acceptable risk. I think failure is good, but it’s a slippery slope when we’re raising our kids with which values are good and which are bad

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  5. I truly believe that hard work will get you somewhere in life.
    I don’t believe the meaning referred to in your article. I think that meaning is more about hard work and being financially successful going hand in hand. I’m not sure that’s exactly true, especially in this day and age. Future generations of humans (especially Americans) will not see a direct link between hard work and monetary gain.
    However, hard work will give you strength, courage, a strong sense of self. Hard work will help you learn compassion, empathy, and the ability to look outside yourself. Hard work will give you experience, possibly travel, and the ability to build strong and lasting relationships with other humans.
    I believe those are much more valuable ‘rewards’ for hard work.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. There’s no doubt that there is a disconnect between how people in their 50’s and 60’s and our children (and in my case, grandchildren) view careers and work and even the definition of success. Like you, I still see hard work as a key ingredient in being a successful person, but I think many younger people have watched their parents and grandparents work their butts off only to be miserable.

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  7. I agree that for some the definition of success has changed. Some do not want to own homes or many material items. I do think that if monies are inherited that in the future they will be passed on to family and held tightly as the world becomes more challenging for some to navigate. It is a different world and a decade from now, who knows.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am 55. I was raised to believe you took whatever job you could get whether you liked it or not because it was the responsible thing to do. So I stayed in jobs I hated all my life, rarely saw my children and was miserable. I was told my writing and artistic talents would get me nowhere and to forget that. Although, I have returned to my art, I am bitter.

    I believe that if we passed the above onto our children then, yes, we lied to them. Even using your passion, however, to earn a living requires hard work. The difference is that the hard work is more enjoyable when it is something you love.

    My son and DIL are in their early 20s and just starting out. They both are working in jobs which are not their dream jobs but they have no intention of staying. It is a stepping stone to reach their goal of RE investment, investments, passive income, etc. They are both very determined and I know they will reach their goal. I am proud of them.

    We must encourage our children’s talents and passions. If they follow their heart they will be happy whether rich or poor.

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  9. I guess I have been really lucky to have been able to work at jobs I liked all my life. There were times that I wasn’t thrilled with either a boss or a coworker but for the most part it has never been difficult for me to get up and go to work and I stayed in my first job for 18 years, the second one for 6 and have been my own boss for the past 18. I’ve tried to tell the kids that they can be/do anything they want in life and that if you like what you are doing it isn’t really work. But, I don’t believe that it is easy all the time. There are sacrifices that have to be made, especially in the beginning and I’m not sure this generation wants to make those sacrifices. They want it all NOW. I also think that with the exception of a union job, the job stability thing is at the whim of the employer. We were also lucky that my husband was in a union. Such good benefits and now a small pension. He had to work in a lot of situations that were not ideal to him but he did it.

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  10. There’s still considerable cachet to be had in following certain of the professions – perhaps it’s that we seek either for ourselves or for our children. Whilst those professions are still valued, I don’t think they’re considered the gods they once were and, I suspect, with that falling off of the pedestal has come a greater value being attached to other work. The thing is, there have been those who are work shy and lacking in drive/ambition throughout the generations, I don’t believe it’s a new thing. What has changed is the lack of “safe” jobs is forcing a greater percentage of the workforce to become more creative about the career path they follow.

    The real problem, I believe, is the explosion of celebrity culture. My generation still had “proper” stars, rare and few in number, whereas we now have so much reality TV creating Z-list celebrities. It worries me that young children believe they can & will have a high value simply from being famous – not for having any talent or ability, nor from any business acumen or intelligence, but just because.

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  11. I do feel sorry for my two young neices, I doubt they will find careers that will take them through to retirement, I doubt final salery pensions will still exist, and will they be able to purchase there own homes? I fear working hard won’t lead to a happy life BUT I hope I’m wrong.

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  12. The problem with this whole concept is that people tend to view it as either do or don’t, as success or fail, when it is really about the unlimited degrees between those two end points. When you talk about stability in a job… yes, you can lose your job at any time and for most any reason. But… some jobs are way more stable than others and the chances of you losing that job are so much less. It is the same for putting in the effort. Yes, sometimes that effort feels wasted or you fail, but you have no chance of succeeding at all if you don’t at least try. There are a number of levels of success and fail to that as well. As a kid, do you consider it a fail if you studied for a test and only got a B (this is an issue I have to remind my kids about often; a B does not mean you failed). One kid might consider that B a failure and another only considers it a fail if they actually get a failing grade. One may think it was miraculous that they got a C. There are so many different levels of success and failure and most of those are also skewed by a person’s own personal perspective on the issue.

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  13. The business climate has changed immeasurably in the past 10+ years. Marketplace is global and digital. Competition for jobs is fierce. Generation entering the workforce now has no intent on being a company lifer. Staying at one place too long – couple years – is rightfully viewed as career suicide. They’ve possibly seen their parents get chewed up and tossed out … Agism is real. New grads don’t believe in the illusion of job security because it doesn’t exist. Meritocracy is mostly myth. Nepotism is the where promotions happen most. The best hope is to be born into a PhD clan … “Papa Has Dough” 😳 … Terrific Post.

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  14. Well, I have to agree that there is no stability. I also believe that the notion of hard work resulting in equal rewards is a total LIE ! It always has been, because I do not see real talent and hard work being rewarded very often at all. In fact, I see the opposite. Hard work is rewarded with more work and slackers, who are friends of the boss, are the ones that are rewarded. In my parent’s world, there was at least two-way loyalty. You could work for a company then for 30 or 40 years, progress through the ranks and receive appropriate promotions. But even that was tainted and research showed that men who were taller, or who had dark hair, or who had blue eyes, received the most promotions. And there was still a good old boy system and men, and friends of the boss, received promotions over women. Although some women also advanced because of their physical features – not from their working ability. In my generation, that loyalty, tainted as it was, had evaporated. Hard work is not rewarded proportionately at all, and the company wants to get rid of you and replace you with someone willing to work for a lower wage as soon as it is convenient. Out of some 24 jobs I’ve held, in two career fields, with many lateral transfers, I only had two good managers. Managers that were actually interested in the employees succeeding and advancing. Despite this reality, I was ingrained with a strong work ethic and I believe in working hard and trying to reach your goals. Just don’t be disappointed when a company or manager stabs you in the back. It’s going to happen some time.

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  15. Brilliant post! My view, for what it’s worth is that the young see so many influencers, You Tubers and D list celebrities making a small fortune by doing apparently so little but just having fun, that they think that they too should be able to do this. Social media has a downside … it makes everyone peer over the garden fence and see how green their neighbour’s grass is, instead of watering their own. I do think that there are more opportunities now for sure and more opportunities in interesting entrepreneurial positions rather than the standard ‘old-fashioned’ jobs. But frankly everyone is always going to need plumbers, electricians, gardeners, painters and decorators … and frankly, if these kids were as smart as they think they were, they’d see that. There absolutely is money to be made in these professions! Amen!! X

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  16. Of course nothing is every certain, but I do think if one is willing to work hard there can be a certain amount of job stability. No job is ever going to be perfect. I think many people today hop from job to job, hoping – in vain – for that perfect situation.

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  17. The life dynamic has changed, and this is due to many variables.

    Gone are the days when people lived in the same house they bought when they married. Many people see a career path that morphs into other avenues as well.

    I don’t think you should ever feel ‘comfortable’ working for someone else. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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  18. Being in the military was a pretty stable career. Working for the government also. You have to really screw up to get fired. Your boss makes a big difference but for the most part mediocre workers and hard workers get treated the same as far as promotions, pay raises and bonuses. And if your position does get eliminated you have priority for re-training or moving to the same position in a different location. With that being said I found greater payoff for my hard work in the civilian sector. Companies seemed more appreciative of my work ethic.

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  19. I feel we’re born jaded. The funny part is that I’ve felt that way most of MY life, yet am surprised to see the rising generation feeling the same.

    Yes, people still need to work hard. No, they are not being taught that by parents. We’ve destroyed the natural parts of our minds that benefited from physical labors leading to true happiness, and wonder at it.

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  20. Amen! Having spent the last 4 years managing (or attempting to) 6 millennials, I often come home bamboozled by their ‘modern’ approach to work. Not one of them works late, they show very little respect to others, and definitely don’t graft the way I, and others my age have. They seem to want everything handed to them on a plate…I really struggle to get my head around it all.

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  21. Great points!! I think the key words were “… in the end”. The idea of working at or for some result down the line is quite alien to some nowadays. Just trying to explain to my kids as they grew that things wouldn’t just happen but had to be made to happen and that putting a few bucks aside would buy the xyz. I know we all love a bit of instant gratification and ‘buy now – pay later’ but its a hard sell to some.

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  22. thank you for this good read! I’m in the middle of searching for a stable job and I’m really afraid to fail again and I’m having a anxiety bc of that and then you wrote that people should be resilient, that’s when It hit me. Thank you for this!

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